Franco-Chinese Agreement on Avian Influenza Vaccine Research

FRANCE - French based multi-national animal health company Ceva Santé Animale has signed a scientific protocol with the South China Agricultural University to research and develop vaccine to help control avian influenza.
calendar icon 29 May 2013
clock icon 4 minute read

The agreement was signed in France this week by Dr Marc Prikazsky, Ceva Santé Animale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Prof Ren Tao, Vice-Dean of the South China Agricultural University, under the patronage of Stéphane Le Foll, Minister for Agriculture, Agribusiness and Forests, Guillaume Garot, Minister-Delegate for Agribusiness and Martine Aubry, Special Representative for China in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In the presence of Deng Li, Minister at the Chinese Embassy in France.

Ceva said the agreement came about because of the importance of China in the global poultry sector.

With a growing population and rising living standards meat consumption is rising, particularly chicken.

Globally, China now consumes more chicken meat than the United States and this consumption is expected to continue to increase - by more than 30 per cent by 2020 - and China will become the world's largest producer of chicken meat.

But production costs are constantly increasing, especially for cereals, which constitute the major input for poultry producers.

“We must also try to produce more efficiently, economising the use of precious water resources,” a spokesman for Ceva said.

“Logically, the Chinese authorities have made the eradication of epidemics and the reduction of mortality in poultry, a strategic area of focus.

“In this context, vaccination has become an essential step to better protect animals, reduce production costs and improve livestock productivity, thus enhancing food security.

In areas with high concentrations of people and animals, vaccination is also the best defence against the risk of emergence of zoonoses, always likely to turn into pandemics, in our world of increased mobility.”

The H5N1 virus (not to be confused with the H7N9 virus that affects people) causes heavy losses in poultry. And if this virus only sporadically affects the human population, it could, through accidental mutation, create a very serious global health problem.

“Ceva has unrivalled expertise with its HVT vector technology. Its new Vectormune® AI vaccine is particularly effective in protecting poultry against avian influenza caused by H5N1 influenza virus,” Ceva said.

The partnership began with the creation of a subsidiary, which now employs 20 people including two expatriates.

It was followed by the signing in July 2011 of a partnership agreement with Huadu, a subsidiary of the China Agricultural Group. Ceva Huadu, the joint venture, which was formed after this agreement is located in Beijing. It employs 230 people.

The new company will benefit from Huadu’s modern production facility, which meets the highest international standards of quality, and from the expertise of its parent company in poultry production.

It will also be able to benefit from the expertise of Ceva in vaccines and preventative programmes. It aims to develop a leading position in the Chinese market.

“Ceva wishes most notably to bring an effective answer to the problems caused by avian influenza.

“In this context, Ceva has therefore signed a scientific cooperation agreement with the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Guangzhou (South China Agriculture University),” Ceva said.

The objective of this agreement is to evaluate Ceva’s Vectormune® AI against local virulent strains of avian flu.

“By bringing Ceva’s teams and the Chinese university laboratories together, it will also contribute to the development of new products with Chinese partners.”

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